For today’s WIAW, I thought it would be fun to share with you what I ate Friday while in Chicago. When on vacation, my meals always tend to vary from my everyday eats. but I try to include a mix of healthy and indulgent foods. I also find that when I am on a trip, I tend to snack less since my meals are larger. Sometimes I may only eat twice a day with a brunch and dinner, which seems to help keep me from feeling stuffed. Vacation meals are almost never planned, and that is half the fun of it. I love trying new, local menu items and going out on a limb by ordering something that may not usually be my first choice.
Since a Starbucks was located right in the hotel lobby, you can say there was an array of coffee drinks ordered each morning. We tend to make our coffee at home every morning, but sometimes it is nice to let someone else brew a cup of joe for us. Since I don’t have an espresso machine, I like to take advantage of lattes when I am ordering out. This was a grande non-fat latte with two pumps of sugar free vanilla.
We knew that by the time we got ready and rode the tram downtown, we would be starving. However, we had a great lunch in mind that we were looking forward to and didn’t want to eat a bunch for breakfast. Enter a slice of Banana Nut Loaf, which was good, but not great. To be honest, usually the baked goods at coffee shops look better in the glass case than they actually taste. However, this did the trick of filling me up and keeping me full until about 2 o’ clock in the afternoon when we finally got to sit down to a lunch we had been looking forward to since we first knew we were going to Chicago.
Gino’s East is a Chicago staple, a pizzeria filled with deep dish items that can make your mouth water just thinking about those slices. I have ate at Gino’s before, and have also ate at the restaurant’s competitor, Giordano’s. Even though they both serve deep dish pizza, each restaurant has something different to offer and to be honest, there is good about both places and you can’t go wrong either way. I don’t discriminate!
The last time I was at Gino’s, we waited well over an hour to get a table. Sometimes the waits can be anywhere from 2-3 hours long. However, this time we didn’t wait more than 15 minutes, which was great since we were feeling pretty hungry at this point.
The menu contains sandwiches, pasta, salads, and thin crust pizzas, but I couldn’t imagine coming to Gino’s and ordering anything but the classic Deep Dish Pizza.
Tim and I started by splitting the Gino’s East House Salad – A crisp, fresh lettuce blend with tomatoes, red onions, black olives and croutons. We had the salad with the house Italian Dressing.
We also ordered a small Cheese, Pepperoni and Mushroom Deep Dish Pizza.
I was able to put down one slice and it was cheesy, saucy and amazing. Pizza Heaven!
After lunch, we walked around Chicago for the next five hours shopping and sightseeing. Around 8 pm, we stopped into a local bar, Public House, to order a drink and an appetizer.
I ordered a flight of beers to try. I don’t like drinking a ton of beer, but I sure do love to try new brews. I had about half of each glass and my husband helped me to finish the rest. The drinks included Green Line, Leffe Blonde, and the Julian Hard Cider, which was my favorite. I probably liked the cider the best, because my husband swore it tasted like Welch’s Grape Juice. Go figure?
To eat, I had the Smoked Veggie and Goat Cheese Dip – seasonal vegetables, grilled flatbread. I like the mixture of zucchini to the veggie mix, not a typical vegetable you see on an appetizer menu. I liked the fresh flatbread, but it was a little too crisp for me. I like soft and doughy bread more than a cracker-like texture. Still good though!
The rest of these eats were not ate on Friday, but they were definitely note worthy during my trip.
Garrett’s Chicago Mix popcorn. The cheese is delicious, but the caramel has my heart. So, so good!
We ate at Yolk for breakfast on Saturday. The last time we were in Chicago we ate at Yolk too and loved it for the fresh, fast and delicious menu items. I ordered the Create Your Own Scrambler, made with egg whites, turkey sausage and jack cheese. I also topped the eggs with salsa before I dug in. On the side, I had the fresh fruit and the Yolk Pancakes, which were served with whipped butter, warm syrup, and powdered sugar.
On Sunday, we ate at Uncommon Ground for the graduation lunch before we all headed back home. Tim and I arrived early and decided to split the Uncommon Bloody Mary – smoked poblano pepper, sweet onion, red & green bell pepper and garlic house-infused organic rain vodka, stout, house-made uncommon spicy bloody blend & market vegetable skewer.
The drink was amazing and I have never had a Bloody Mary before that tasted so fresh, or had such a great kick of heat. This was definitely the best thing I drank all weekend.
So there is a look back at my eats from Chicago. It makes me hungry just thinking about all of the great meals I got to enjoy.
What is your favorite brunch cocktail? Bloody Mary or Mimosa? Others?
Have you ever ate at Gino’s or Giordano’s? Which is your favorite? Do you prefer thin crust, or deep dish?
What is your favorite kind of popcorn – cheese, caramel, butter, etc?